Paypal messages cause Outlook to hang

This is likely to be a short-lived problem but perhaps knowing about it will help a few of you avoid some anguish.

PayPal sends email messages about transactions in your PayPal account – typical formatted HTML messages with a logo and a couple of images.

Starting on Wednesday, PayPal mucked up the code in its template for some of those messages, causing one of the image links to point to a nonexistent online location.

When Outlook tries to preview PayPal messages, there is a lengthy delay and Outlook displays “Not Responding,” as if it has crashed.

It’s not Outlook’s fault. After a minute – or two or five – the message is displayed and Outlook goes back to normal.

There are a lot of people complaining in this PayPal forum thread. A PayPal rep eventually turned up and acknowledged the problem in a message yesterday, so I’d expect it to be solved in short order – although apparently it’s not fixed as of this morning.

The fix won’t bring back the hour and a half I spent troubleshooting Outlook on Wednesday night – doing repairs on Microsoft Office and trying to research the problem without realizing it was only PayPal messages that caused the hang-up.

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